Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of May 16–19

Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of May 16–19

(Image: John Vetterli)

In this Victoria Day edition of The Weekender, a fireworks display, a chance to see some Japanese indie rockers and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.


Fireworks at Ashbridges Bay (FREE!)
Show your undying loyalty to the queen (or just just hang out and watch some fireworks) at the city’s annual Victoria Day celebration at Ashbridges Bay. Don’t even attempt to drive: in decent weather, this rain-or-shine event draws a crowd of tens of thousands. May 19. FREE. Ashbridges Bay Park,


Mendelssohn Scottish Symphony at TSO
For Victoria Day, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra will be playing Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony, a work inspired by the composer’s visit to Holyrood Palace, the official royal residence in Scotland. Mendelssohn dedicated the symphony to Queen Victoria, making it especially holiday-appropriate. Arrive early for a lobby chat with classical-music specialist Rich Phillips. May 17. $33–$145. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St.,


Rapp Battlez
Freddie and Miguel Rivas host this recurring comedy night, for which some of Toronto’s best rising comedians assume pop-culture alter egos and settle disputes on stage, hip-hop style. For this month’s fiftieth edition of Rapp Battlez, the matchups will include “Ariel” versus “Ursula” (Monica Heisey and Catherine McCormick), and “Party Upstairs” versus “Some of Us Have to Work in the Morning” (Anders Yates and Aaron Peever). May 16. $10. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor St. W.,


Next Music From Tokyo
A labour of love by a Toronto anaesthesiologist named Steven Tanaka, this annual tour is a rare chance for Torontonians to take in live performances by Japanese indie rockers. This year’s lineup includes Kinoko Teikoku, Uchu Conbini, Happy!Mari and Jizue. A May 16 show at the Rivoli is completely sold out, but there are still some tickets left for the following night’s performance at Lee’s Palace. May 17. $10. Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W.


ROMwalk: Parkdale (FREE!)
Join the Royal Ontario Museum for a walking tour of Parkdale. A guide will tell participants about the neighbourhood’s rich history, from its days as a suburb of early Toronto to the present. May 18. FREE. Meet in front of Parkdale Public Library, 1301 Queen St. W.,